California Rolls

There is a theme here, and let’s just stick with it. I like to eat expensive food, but I can’t always afford it. So, I leaned into home cooking and learned how to make my favorite dishes.

On to sushi. I worked at a fancy summer camp, where I taught kids how to cook. We showed them lamb pitas, sushi, challah, roasted red pepper soup, ratatouille, pizza,  and more. Pizza was definitely their favorite thing to make, closely followed by anything with sugar. They also went crazy for sushi, while salad was largely left behind on the plate.

Sushi seems really hard to make, but it really isn’t all that bad. Rolling the rolls tightly can be difficult, but with some practice, it’s really not that bad.



For the rice:

  • 2 cups of sushi rice (you could also use brown or short-grain)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (again, rice vinegar is the best here, but if you don’t have it on hand and want to use something else, feel free)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For the sushi:

  • Nori (this is the seaweed sheets that sushi is made with. I bet you can find it at your local grocery store. I can get it in West Virginia. If not, you can buy food on Amazon)
  • 2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and sliced into matchstick-sized strips
  • 3 avocados, peeled, depitted, and sliced into thin strips
  • 1 package fake crab, chopped into thin slices


  1. Cook the rice. Place the rice in a large pot, and run under a faucet. Rinse the rice in water to remove all of the extra starch. You’ll know that this has happened when the water runs clear. Then, add 4 cups of water to the rice, and place over high heat. Once the water boils, cover the pot and turn down the heat to as low as it can go, and leave for 24 minutes.
  2. Season the rice. Mix the sugar and vinegar. After the rice is cooked, place it in a large bowl, and add the vinegar/sugar mixture, and then stir. Leave the rice to fully cool.
  3. Make the rolls. If you have a sushi mat, like this one, place the nori rough side down, and spread about 1/2 cup of rice on the nori. Don’t push the rice down, because it will make it gummy. Wet your hands so that the rice doesn’t stick. Leave about an inch of space on the top. Then, place the fillings in a strip across the bottom. If you don’t have a mat, you can still roll sushi – it will just be harder to do.
  4. Roll. Lift the bottom and roll it over the top. Roll tightly, and then use water to seal it. Using a serrated knife, cut into rolls. The first and last rolls don’t usually turn out as well, so I always give the first one to my boyfriend, and I eat the last one.

Now that you know the basics, switch it up! Use smoked salmon or gravlax, and cream cheese, or carrots and other veggies!



2 thoughts on “California Rolls

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